Moldova recalls ambassador to Russia over ‘intimidation’, as diplomatic tensions rumble on

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 December, 2017, 1:44pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 December, 2017, 2:52pm

Moldova’s foreign ministry said Monday that it had recalled its ambassador in Russia, complaining of intimidation by the Russian authorities.

The ministry of the ex-Soviet state said in a statement that it had “decided to recall Ambassador Andrei Neguta to Chisinau for consultations for an indefinite period.”

It said the decision was taken after “incidents of harassment and intimidation by the Russian authorities” intensified recently and Moscow failed to respond to Chisinau’s repeated requests for clarification.

The Moldovan foreign ministry said its move was aimed at preventing actions that could undermine bilateral ties.

Neguta has been Moldova’s ambassador since May this year, according to the embassy’s website.

Moldova’s President Igor Dodon, a figurehead leader who backs closer ties with Russia, wrote on Facebook that he was “outraged by the decision of the foreign ministry.”

“I see this as yet another provocation by the pro-European government, aimed at undermining the strategic partnership between our countries,” Dodon said.

Dodon is on good terms with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was the only foreign leader who attended the annual Victory Day parade on Red Square on May 9 this year.

Since May, the two countries have seen tensions in their diplomatic ties, however. Moldova expelled five Russian diplomats without giving a reason and Russia responded with equivalent expulsions.